TikToker Wearing Makeup



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Her beauty filter is so bizarre to see here – like a garish clash w/ the tone of the content.

Also, I can’t tell how much of her lashes are filter-fake vs real-fake (I think they’re both to some degree). It’s like approaching the uncanny valley from the near-side.

You shouldn’t be commenting on young women’s appearances.

I hear you.

You can figure that out by clicking on the filter (if you are using tiktok on the phone app at least), and seeing what it does. It doesn’t add lashes. It just smooths out/ softens skin tone, and changes the skin color a bit. So it hides things like pores, wrinkles, acne, freckles, etc, and evens out skin tone.

Tone clashes are pretty normal on tiktok, so they aren’t really bizarre within the context of tiktok. People do dances while talking about traumas like being sexually assaulted, or their children or spouses dying, or being abused as children.

I looked at the filter she actually used in the video and it showed other tiktoks using the same filter. This was one of the top results:


Do you think this one is a garish clash too? I’m not sure if it’s actually the filter you object to, or if it is the false eyelashes in particular that you picked up on as somehow clashing with the tone.

This is unclear, btw. I can’t tell from this what point you took from it, what you agree with. Or if you just mean that you hear that Elliot has a preference, and since it is his forum, you will follow his preference (whether or not you agree).

It’s not meant to say very much. I considered which words to use and chose those specifically.
At the time, I didn’t want to imply that I had understood what he’d said, just that I knew it was important and that I was paying attention to it.

I don’t think Elliot was expressing a preference. He could have said I’d prefer it if you didn’t ___ but said You shouldn’t ___ instead. I am treating it as more serious than I would treat a preference.

This actually seems worse to me than my original assumption. I thought you just wanted to say something acknowledging what Elliot said, but didn’t really know how to engage, or didn’t want to engage yet for some reason, so you just said something kind of sloppy.

But you are saying that you considered and chose those words. So, basically, you are saying that you said something vague that hides your actual opinion on purpose.

I agree that he wasn’t expressing a preference. But your response to him was unclear about what you thought of what he said, so I thought maybe you were reading it as a preference. That has happened in the past. People often ignore Elliot’s suggestions, and then later say they thought he was just expressing his preferences, not actually suggesting that his ideas would be good for them to do.

I just wanted to note that it seems really gross and dehumanizing to call another person’s appearance “approaching the uncanny valley”.

You called out her eyelashes in particular, and as far as I can tell, those are just the fake lashes that she wears on her actual face to go to work as a nurse. So you are calling out the way she does her makeup in her regular life as somehow approaching the appearance of not-human.

I think you thought you were just calling out a filter, but that would still be problematic.

Additional context:

The Uncanny Valley is repulsive to people. It gets strong negative reactions. Video games and movies put significant effort into avoiding it. Here are some quotes describing how people feel about it and what the term means:

cold, eerie feelings in viewers

feeling of revulsion or “creepiness”

repulsive response aroused

repulsive aspect

disturbing … a sense of unease, strangeness, disgust, or creepiness

people feel a sense of unease or even revulsion

a feeling of discomfort or even revulsion

may make you feel ambivalent or even threatened. In other words, it creeps you out.

characters were seen as being stranger and less friendly.... feelings of unease

Sorta. I thought it was like clever and that it was consistent with what I wanted to say. WRT choosing the words, that came after deciding to give a short reply. So I considered like ‘see’ vs ‘hear’, and what the object should be, like ‘you’ vs ‘what you’re saying’. I didn’t want to hide that I thought it was something that was significant and worth thinking about. I guess I did want to hide that I wasn’t so sure about what to do.

Wanting to say something clever is related to some of the unflawed stuff, I think.

It’s also taking something local and like extrapolating it to like be about a whole person. It was mean and wrong to say.

Yeah, I feel pretty bad about that. I mean, I feel pretty bad about multiple things, but that’s one of them.

I was ready to believe that I was. I don’t think I would have said anything about her eyelashes (or even looked closely) if I didn’t think a filter was involved.

Would you like me to post a summary of my postmortem? It’s not complete, but I think enough main points are there for me to know that it was wrong for multiple reasons.

I don’t really want to discuss it much. I’m offering to post a summary to convince you that I am (and have been) taking it seriously. Also because it’s less useful for that as more discussion happens. Like, if you point out all the issues I thought of before I post it, then what evidence is there that I actually thought about it instead of just pulling dot points out of things that have already been said?

There are a few reasons I don’t want to discuss it much. One of them is that this feels more like a ‘stuff that came up’ problem and that it’ll take a lot of time and focus to discuss, which is a problem if some of the component problems are beyond my skill to discuss (which I suspect they are).

My learning oism thread feels like that a bit too, now – like it feels good to have read AS, but IDK how much focusing on that and LO will help compared to Elliot’s recent suggestions.

I think you should probably post it then.

If you think a potential issue is that I will say problems you already thought of, it makes sense to have the post-mortem posted to show that you had also thought of those.

I think you are probably over-confident though. That was what I had thought about your previous makeup project: that you were overconfident with your results and what you had learned from it. And I think that this is related to that. You said that part of the reason you even commented on this was because of stuff you learned in the makeup project.

I understand that you don’t want to discuss it, and agree it probably isn’t the most important thing for you to discuss right now. BUT I think it is possible that your actions are bad and hurting people. And I think one positive outcome that could come from this – even without you putting much effort into discussing anything – would be for you to see that you were wrong, and become more careful in certain ways, so that you could have less chance of hurting people with your ignorance. Like, if you recognize that you are ignorant in an area, and understand at least that much (that you don’t know what you are doing), there are ways to be more careful and less overconfident, which would make you less likely to hurt other people.

(emphasis mine)

This is my main concern and goal w/ this atm. The goal (recognizing, being more careful) seems achievable in the short term and good for preventing some directly related problems.

Here are summaries of my 1st and 2nd passes at a rough postmortem. I copied and pasted some stuff, but mostly I re-wrote it to be dot points and clearer. I tried not to add things from the last few days that weren’t in the original docs.

1st postmortem pass, after my ‘I hear you’ reply.

  • context: women (particularly young women) are under a lot of social pressure WRT appearance. Makeup is part of that but there are other things too (I reread Sucking In Your Gut around this time).
  • Commenting on and/or criticizing someone’s appearance in this context ignores the social pressure and mb encourages/normalizes it.
  • I’m implicitly sanctions the pressure by ignoring it.
  • I’m essentially making the social pressure worse, which furthers the harm that social pressure does and makes it harder for women affected by it.
  • I was overreaching b/c I don’t understand these things well enough – I didn’t ask questions first like why she used a beauty filter. Pressure is one reason but maybe she’d just had a shit day at a hospital and it was a practical choice. IDK, but by ignoring those things there was overreaching (in more ways than just this, but this is an example).
    • another example: I didn’t consider whether comments like I made would be a reason for young women to be more conscious about their appearance. so my overreaching doesn’t just hurt me, it hurts young women too.
  • It was mean to use the term ‘uncanny valley’ – direct comparison with the explicitly non-human.
    • note: I originally thought this was less important than the dotpoints above, but I don’t anymore.

2nd pass, 2 days later

This is more exploratory, but it’s an important part of postmortems – like why did something happen in the first place.

  • I did some exploratory writing about motivations for thinking and speaking (and the subjects of those)
    • one Q I wanted to answer was roughly Is there a good reason to focus on filtering speech even if there are underlying issues? This is related to realizing that I’m ignorant in some area and being more careful.
    • One conclusion was that I should pay more attention to what I choose to focus on and what I choose to say – that’s two points of error correction (or at least harm avoidance) I can work on. I think there are good things to automatize about those sort of filters, but also that it could be particularly bad to automatize some things b/c they could hide/avoid criticisms.
    • I also wrote a bit about why I focused on some things instead of things I know I value more. Related to this is a failure of recognizing ignorance on something – this happens with more topics than just this instance.
  • I brainstormed some ideas about why I posted it in the first place – some are a bit more speculative, but one was a desire to post at all.
    • the desire to post at all is problematic, I wrote this about it:
      • i mostly ignored a red-flag feeling to do it – i paid attention enough to change/reword some things, but didn’t like re-eval it after
        • didn’t pay attention to what was behind the red-flag
        • red-flag always indicates a contradiction between ideas/values?
    • interest in social stuff is another I focused on that topic, but there were a few issues:
      • didn’t take the time to consider if the comment was pointing out anything important/novel
      • commented on an individual person rather than like a trend (trends are harder) – ignorance and overreaching
      • social stuff generally doesn’t seem like a topic that will benefit my life much atm, and esp not focusing on specific instances of something (like in this case).
    • there are some other q’s I don’t know how to answer, but that I want to pay attention to when something like this comes up next. Q’s like Why is it okay to comment? What’s the motivation for such a comment? What was I thinking/feeling beforehand?
  • another problem was that I didn’t know basic stuff about tiktok (like searching via filter), so I was pretty ignorant of many things, including the platform itself. Even if I wanted to focus on like tonal clashes on tiktok, I don’t know enough to do that (or even start).

There are some other things I’ve noticed since then, like that my original comment was effectively practicing ignoring context like social pressure (which is bad).

edit (5 hrs later): one thing I forgot to mention in pass 1: the role of choice (or lack thereof) – it’s not really practical for young women to opt-out. Criticizing someone for something they can’t choose is also bad and feeds into the other bad things I mention above.